Earlier this year, I departed on a mileage run from San Diego to Hawaii to New York and back again with American Airlines. Although the flights didn’t stand out as anything extraordinary and I never wrote an actual trip report since it was all domestic flying, there was one incident that really stood out above the rest. When boarding the plane from LAX to Honolulu, I noticed the jet bridge had been decorated. I didn’t reach for my camera phone until I got to the airplane, but it turns out we were celebrating someone’s retirement!
As I boarded the plane, all guests were greeted by two large banners. One hung outside the plane and read “Happy Retirement” and another was inside the plane and had a picture of Pam at her Flight Attendant Graduation Ceremony from 46 years earlier!
The flight to Hawaii was fun and the girls working the flight were all in better moods than usual! Pam was excited to be retiring and her husband was also on board. They were starting Pam’s retirement off right, In Hawaii! I asked Pam what has changed the most in 46 years of flying, and of course, all the senior flight attendants had something to add. But per Pam: The Idea of flying has changed the most in the past 46 years, flying used to be a luxury, but now anyone can afford to fly. I remember working the first class cabin and everyone would wear suits and women dressed up, now people fly first in pajamas. People using miles can now afford a class of service they would never be able to pay for. Flying has lost its zing.
Flying with Pam on her very special day was quite the treat! It was entertaining to see the girls celebrate together at 30K feet! I can only imagine what the after party was like!
Thank you Pam for your 46 years of service! It was an honor flying with you!
So what do you think, is Pam right? Has flying lost it Zing? Is first class being overtaken by people using miles and flying in PJs instead of suites?